Minnesota ranked 17th among the states in a recent national report on child-care safety and quality standards.
• Providers are required to undergo criminal background checks.
• Inspections are conducted unannounced.
• State safety rules address 9 of 10 recommended national guidelines, including home sanitation, electrical hazards and crib safety.
• A high number of children and infants are allowed for each provider.
• There is no requirement that providers have a high school diploma or GED.
• Licensing inspectors have heavy caseloads.
Top-ranked states -- including Oklahoma, Washington and Kansas -- require more thorough background checks on providers and staff; make inspections more often; require more training; and allow fewer toddlers and infants in care when older children are present.
The report was by Child Care Aware of America, a national nonprofit.